Jim Siegrist

Rhody Family Funeral Home

"Photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them." - Elliott Erwitt

From a young age, Jim was fascinated with photography. He enjoyed capturing moments and creating permanent images or keepsakes from these moments in time. Over the years he perfected this craft and has left many of us with images and memories that will last a lifetime.

James Krug Siegrist was born in Kitchener, Ontario to parents Alfred and Lily (Krug) Siegrist on March 14, 1931. Lily had a difficult pregnancy and was forced to travel to the city to deliver Jim via a c-section. He weighed approximately 4 lbs at birth. The two soon returned to Chesley where Jim enjoyed his youth. The family welcomed his younger sister Nancy in 1936 and he soon began school. During his teenage years, he spent some time working weekends and summers at Krug's. However, after graduating from Chesley District High School Jim decided to pursue his passion for photography.

Jim attended Ryerson Tech in Toronto and obtained his degree in photography. In 1954, Jim officially began Siegrist Photography, running the business out of the back of his father's furniture store. It wasn't long before he added flowers to his speciality, as the two usually went hand-in-hand. In the early years, he did a lot of work for the Union Camp in Port Elgin but soon began taking confirmation, wedding and family photos to fill out his days. In time his professional images were used by local news outlets to complement their stories. By the mid to late 50's Jim moved the business to the Main St. where he continued to gain clientele.

In 1968, "The Jackrabbit" (as he was known as by his CB radio buddies) was introduced by a mutual friend, Les Barnard, to Karen Elaine Clark. Jim, although very interested, was patient in his approach as Karen had three young daughters at home. Over time, however, he won over Karen's affection and the two soon began dating. Jim was quick to treat Karen's daughters, Dawn, Michele and Risa, like his own and always referred to them as "my" or "our" kids. The couple were married in Owen Sound on October 2, 1976, at a private ceremony. It was so "private" the girls did not even know about it.

This same year, Karen and Jim finished constructing their new home on the banks of the Saugeen River in Chesley. They soon moved Siegrist Photography, Flowers & Gifts into the barn at home. Jim was always willing to adapt, and the arrival of the digital camera definitely forced his hand. However, he continued to make his mark in the industry and found and maintained his niche until he fully retired in 2007.

When not busy with work, Jim loved to fish and be out on the water. He enjoyed countless boats over the years and always treasured his time on Lake Huron, in Whiskey Harbour while at the cottage. When it came to fishing, he was not picky, as he loved to catch (and eat) a variety of fish, with white fish being his favourite. Jim also loved planes and anything to do with aviation. Although he never did obtain his pilot's license, he was a walking encyclopedia whenever it came to anything to do with flying. In his younger years, Jim enjoyed spinning Karen around the dance floor and spending time on his snowmobile. Other pastimes included woodworking, working with and creating stain glass, baking (especially his famous apple pies and homemade bread) and producing maple syrup.

Jim also loved his animals. In fact, he was particularly good at connecting with a variety of pets throughout his life. In his youth, he tamed a wild crow, making it his pet and even taught it to talk. Yes, you read that right.... a crow that talked!!! He also raised and nurtured pigeons, a pet goat and chickens, Big Joe & Little Joe. This was all in addition to a constant variety of cats and dogs that always called the Siegrist house home.

He was also a collector. In addition to a variety of gadgets, Jim also enjoyed collecting War movies, toys and clocks. He enjoyed his TV (with surround sound of course) often watching National Geographic or the Discovery Channel. Karen often joked that TV acted as a babysitter for her at times to keep Jim occupied. He embraced technology and was always trying to remain current with the newest and greatest products on the market. When it came to music it was usually classic country western, with a little "Big Band" and The Tenors thrown in. Take a guess at a couple of Jim's favourite dishes? ... If you answered beef tongue (apparently the tenderest part of a cow, his words, not mine!) and vanilla ice cream, then you knew Jim extremely well. One story was told whereby Jim was at an ice cream shop and he asked the server to recite the selection. She proceeded to give him over 50 options whereby he politely asked for vanilla when she was done. Can you imagine her reaction? :)

Jim was a gentle man who was always kind and considerate to others. He was a thoughtful, loving husband, father and grandfather, always enjoying his time with family. He had a good sense of humour and often displayed his child-like spirit when interacting with those he loved. Jim often said that we are never too old to have dreams and goals and he still had many aspirations that he wanted to pursue. Even though he considered himself a homebody, he would often perk up and display his famous smirk, when discussing others' experiences and adventures. In fact, he would always be the first to encourage you to "have fun" when heading out on your next adventure.

In 2011, Jim and Karen downsized and moved to 2nd Ave. S.E. Here they further enjoyed time with family and friends while enjoying retirement and slowing down. Sadly, Jim passed away after a brief illness, surrounded by his family at South Bruce Grey Health Centre, Chesley on Sunday, March 3, 2019, in his 88th year.

Beloved husband of Karen. Loving father of Dawn (Tim) Knisley, Michele (John) Peddle and Risa Walker (Bill Morgan). Jim will live on in the hearts and minds of his grandchildren, Christopher, Aaron, Marcia, Matthiew, Emily, Lisa, Matthew, Lauren, Amber, Katey and his five great-grandchildren. He will be dearly missed by his brother-in-law Tom Thomson, sisters-in-law Judy Fitter, Pat Fitter, and Betty Fitter McKessock as well as the entire Fitter family. Jim was predeceased by his sister Nancy Thomson, brothers-in-law Brian, Paul, David Fitter, sister-in-law Ruth Simpson and his parents Alfred and Lily (Krug) Siegrist.

Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Thursday from 6 – 8 p.m. and again on Friday, March 8, 2019, from 12 noon until the time of the funeral service at 1 p.m. Spring inurnment in Chesley Cemetery.

Memorial donations to the Chesley Hospital Foundation or Chesley Medical Clinic (cheques payable to Municipality of Arran Elderslie) would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

Send to friend
James and Shawna Hilborn
March 8, 2019
We will always remember Uncle Jim for his gentle mannerisms, generosity, our meeting for lunches at The Spot, his creative and beautiful photography, his appreciation of the simple things in life.
Rest in peace, we will miss you!
Tammy & Kirk Simpson and family
March 8, 2019
Wonderful obituary!!! Wow. From as far back as grade 6 ( 1976 ) I can remember so many things that influenced me forever because of things Uncle Jim and Aunt Karen did. I suppose you could say not only were they pretty cool family but they were also mentors!!! Tucked into my subconscious were the awesome Viceroy home on the river. The river to explore, the huge goldfish that stayed alive all winter in the pond, the sauna, the heat lamp above the shower, the sunken living room, a kitchen in the basement, the photography equipment downstairs, the barn, the store, on & on stayed with me all my life. I implemented a bunch of these influences over the years. Also ham radios, woodstove, snowmobiles, boats, stained glass, photography, woodworking, birds, dogs cats, videodisc movies, rustic frames and black and white photos of Sauble, cedar closet with mothballs. Being sole proprietors & running their own business for so many years were also influences I adopted. Tammy & I enjoyed our many trips to Chesley to spend time with Jim and Karen. Thanks for all these great Influences and more I am not recalling at this moment. Rest easy Jim. You lived a very respectful life and every person alive should use you as an example.

Lorne and Diane Beitz
March 7, 2019
Karen and family, condolences to you all in the passing of Jim. He was a very gentle and kind man. He will be missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time
BEA Nesbitt
March 7, 2019
My Deepest Sympathy to Karen and family. He will always be with you in your heart for the wonderful times you have had together.
Anne Muller
March 6, 2019
Dear Karen, I just read the paper and found Jim' obituaries and burst into tears. So sorry very for your loss.
Please let me know what I can do and I will be here for you.
Big hug, Anne
Rebekka Valian
March 6, 2019
My heartfelt condolences to Karen, Risa and Bill, Amber and Rob, Katey and Greg and family. Jim sounded like a wonderful man. So very sorry for your loss.
Tamara Cudek
March 6, 2019
Heartfelt sympathy to you Risa & Bill Amber & Katey & family. Thinking of you during this difficult time , prayers and fond memories of your loved one until you meet again!

Donna McKeag
March 6, 2019
Karen and family, It is so sad to hear of the passing of Jim. He always had a smile and a friendly greeting to everyone he knew. He sure knew how to take pictures and had the patience for everyone... Again so sorry Karen.
March 5, 2019
My condolences
Kerri Readings
March 5, 2019
So sorry to hear of your loss, thinking of you and your family during this time and sending light and love to you all.
Enola MacKinnon
March 5, 2019
My heartfelt condolences to the family and many friends. Jim's love of animals was displayed daily here on Second Av. Our Ginger would pull on her leash to get to Jim's door where, she knew he kept a stash of dog treats.
Jim would always have a smile and a cookie for Ginger. May he rest in paradise knowing he was loved and respected by all...blessings
Mark Birchard
March 5, 2019
A great neighbor to our family in Chesley. The wedding pic he took for us, along with a beautiful photo of fall colors east of Chesley in a homemade frame, are two memories from Jim that will stay with us!! He will be missed.
Carol M. Jarvis
March 4, 2019
My deepest sympathy to Karen and family on the passing of Jim.
Theressa Stade
March 4, 2019
Karen and family i was so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. He was always a kind and gentle man. He has also done several family photos for our family including one very special shoot in which 20 some years later he called me up one day . He did not have the heart to throw pictures of my brother out whom had passed suddenly but my parents could not pick up as the shoot was done only days before he passed. I thanked him immensely for them. Coffee different times and visits all the time with him at Bruce Krugs home
Prayers and thoughts for the entire family over these next few days, weeks and months
Dale and Carole Woods
March 4, 2019
We have you all in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. Jim will be missed by many. He was a kind gentle man that was rarely without a smile. Treasure your memories. Sincerely, Dale and Carole Woods.
Rick and Joan Denomy
March 4, 2019
Karen and Family. We are sorry to hear of Jim's passing. Cherish the happy memories of which I'm sure you have many. Our thoughts are with you at this difficult time.
Carol white
March 4, 2019
So sorry to hear of Jim’s passing,He was such a nice man.
Ron and Marlene Calhoun
March 4, 2019
Karen and Family.
Our deepest sympathy in the loss
of Jim. Cherish the wonderful
April Wilson
March 4, 2019
My deepest sympathy to family
Catherine Krause
March 4, 2019
So sorry for ure loss to all families.
Robin Woodyard
March 4, 2019
Karen, I am so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. He was a gentle soul and I will miss him very much.
Elda Mae Knapp
March 4, 2019
My sincere sympathy to you Karen and family.
Lynne (Thomson) and Gray Stewart
March 4, 2019
Karen and family, we were so sorry to learn of Uncle Jim’s passing. Please know we are thinking about you all during this difficult time.

Uncle Jim was the the kindest person. He always showered his nieces and nephews with love. As we grew older, we may not have seen each other a lot but never did a conversation end without me telling him I loved him. We will cherish all our wonderful memories.

Rest In Peace Uncle Jim. We love you now and always. xoxoxo
Robert and Sally Robson
March 4, 2019
Karen and Family, Our Thoughts and Prayers are with You and Your Family at this time of loss of Jim. Had many good conversations with you two. Take Care, Bob and Sally Robson (Kitchener)
Todd SImpson & Micki Leger-Simpson
March 4, 2019
Sending our love & prayers thinking about you all during this difficult time . Nothing but great memories about a humble man who was forever kind and always had a smile on his face .

Todd & Micki xoxoxo
Todd SImpson & Micki Leger-Simpson
March 4, 2019
Sending our love & prayers thinking about you all during this difficult time . Nothing but great memories about a humble man who was forever kind and always had a smile on his face .

Todd & Micki xoxoxo
Ross Lamont
March 4, 2019
My Condolences to Jim's family. He was a good friend to the Bruce County Historical Society.
Lesley Birchard
March 3, 2019
Jim was the best neighbour. He was so kind to us over the years. I'll never forget him. Xo
Bryan & Yvonne Pinch
March 3, 2019
so very sorry to here of jim,s passing i do believe he enjoyed life and people like myself who knew him enjoyed his company . yvonne and i will miss him.
Wayne Cindy Cronkwright
March 3, 2019
Sorry to hear about Jim he was a good man and neighbor we will miss him so he was also a good picture taker and store owner as well.

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Our Testimonials

Because of COVID-19 we had to do the complete service from home via D.V.D. GREAT!

William Hall

I was amazed that I could smell KFC fries when I first walked in at the visitation. That was so lovely. My husband would have loved it. Thank you again for that! 

Sheila Jacobs

[I] have already told many people what an amazing job you did. My entire family and friends couldn’t agree more! Everything was totally looked after. Things I never would have thought of were either done or brought to my attention. Thank you so much for everything you did. It made a really rough time a little easier to handle. Thank you!

Dianne Veen

“One of a kind” service as well as ongoing support! Beyond [our expectations] and Thank You.

Carol Vallie

I received comments on how informative and interesting the life story was. I know how amazing you are!!! I never stop bragging about you !!!

Lynn Jackson & Family

Nathan and his staff are kind, compassionate and gentle as they guide you through the process of celebrating the life of your loved one. My family has worked with Rhody Funeral Home five times now and each time they have went above and beyond to support us and to honour our loved ones. We will be forever grateful for the professional yet personal way they approach funeral planning. Their sincere empathy and passion for helping families during this difficult time of life is a gift.

Sarah Rogers

It was 100%. I got many comments on how things were handled.

Eugene Perkins

Nothing could have been done to better improve my experience. Nathan, I was more than pleased with everything. Thank you.

Morris Galbraith

I found yourselves very helpful and can’t think of anything negative in our experience with yourselves. We were satisfied [nothing could have been done to better serve us, including] also the travel to Tapleytown (Hamilton) at a low cost where the burial took place.

David Kuiper

Everything was perfect. We had many comments on the service and the little personal touches – that makes it special. Keep up the personal touches!!!

Janice Rapp

Nothing comes to my mind as to what you could have done to improve our experience. My whole family was so pleased, as was I, with every detail. All of the details were so well presented and the full staff were so helpful. In terms of pricing, we received what we asked for ten-fold. Every aspect of Jim’s funeral was so well presented and we would certainly pass this on to others. 

Karen Siegrist

There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.


Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

“Nathan, you present yourself very well. Facilities were all that could be expected.”

“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

“Dear Nathan - You did a good job. Thank-you for all your help and all the information you obtained for me."

Gloria Albright

“Your sense of humour was a plus! You and your staff clearly have a calling for the work that you do. We all felt that we were in good hands throughout the entire process…. Nathan, thank you for everything. You made things easy for us, as we felt like we were working on Dad’s arrangements with family. We gave Dad a great send off and thank you and your staff for being a part of it.”

Deborah Hart

“Letters cancelling Gov’t services was a great help and was very much appreciated.”

William & Loraine Patterson

“You did everything really well. All needs were met and then some.… We received positive comments on the stationary. Great keep sakes. The book and slideshow were beautiful.”

Elaine King

“We had no concerns- worries, nothing, but confidence in the staff – we knew exactly how everything would happen and when - it was so nice not to have to concern ourselves with anything.”

Rebecca Becker

"I don't think there is anything more you or your staff could do."

Bernice Frook

"No improvement needed. We were pleased with everything."

Susan Taylor

“I would not have changed anything. Thanks very much – Nathan and staff.”

“New renovations are very inviting and warm. All your new cards and books are very heart warming and keepsakes.”

Valerie Long

"Staff were outstanding. Overall, it was great. Everything was perfect."

Susan Laver

“Staff is exceptional!... All needs were met.”

“Service was beyond expectations… Already recommended to various people.”

Steve Thomson

“Could not have been more useful – very satisfied! I would highly recommend Rhody Family. Thank you ever so much for your professionalism and expertise.”

Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

“Everything was perfect; it’s always nice to have lots of options.”

Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

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